How Can Infidelity Affect Divorce?

April 26, 2024
Our Delaware County Divorce Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Are Experienced With Divorce Cases Involving Infidelity

Infidelity can be a devastating blow to any marriage, often leading to a breakdown of trust and communication. When a couple decides to pursue a divorce, infidelity can significantly impact the proceedings, influencing asset division, alimony, and child custody.

Is My Spouse Cheating on Me?

Some red flags might indicate your spouse is having an affair:

  • Sudden changes in behavior or routine
  • Increased secrecy regarding phone or computer usage
  • Unexplained absences
  • Frequent arguments about fidelity
  • Lack of intimacy
  • Sudden financial discrepancies, like unexplained credit card charges

A cheating spouse may also exhibit defensive behavior when questioned about their whereabouts or activities. Trust your instincts and communicate openly with your partner if you suspect infidelity. If concerns persist, you may want to seek professional guidance from a counselor or a divorce lawyer.

How Does Infidelity Impact Asset Division?

In cases where one spouse has engaged in infidelity, the emotional turmoil can spill over into the division of marital assets. Most states follow equitable distribution laws, where assets are divided fairly but not necessarily equally. In those cases, infidelity can tilt the scales in favor of the faithful spouse.

Courts may view the unfaithful spouse’s actions as a breach of trust and responsibility, potentially awarding the faithful spouse a larger share of the marital assets. Bear in mind that not all jurisdictions consider infidelity when dividing assets, especially in no-fault divorce states where grounds for divorce are not necessary.

How Does Infidelity Affect Alimony?

Alimony is the financial support one spouse provides to the other during or after a divorce. Infidelity can influence whether alimony is awarded and the amount granted.

If the faithful spouse can demonstrate that the infidelity caused financial harm or affected their ability to earn a living, the court may be more inclined to award alimony. Additionally, if the unfaithful spouse spent marital assets on their affair, they may be ordered to pay more in alimony to compensate for that.

Alimony decisions vary widely depending on each case’s circumstances and the jurisdiction’s laws. Courts will consider factors such as the length of the marriage, each spouse’s earning capacity, and their contributions to the marriage when determining alimony awards.

How Does Infidelity Impact Child Custody?

Infidelity could have a profound impact on child custody arrangements, particularly if the affair had a detrimental effect on the children or the faithful spouse’s ability to care for them. Courts prioritize the child’s best interests when making custody decisions, considering each parent’s ability to provide a stable, nurturing environment.

If the faithful spouse can demonstrate that the unfaithful spouse’s behavior has negatively impacted the children or their parenting abilities, it may affect custody arrangements. Courts may be reluctant to award joint custody if they believe the presence of infidelity could create instability or conflict within the family.

Ultimately, the impact of infidelity on child custody depends on the specific circumstances of each case and the court’s interpretation of the best interests of the child.

Infidelity can significantly complicate the already challenging process of divorce, adding layers of emotional and legal complexity. If you are facing a divorce involving infidelity, it is wise to seek guidance from an experienced lawyer who can advocate for your rights.

Our Delaware County Divorce Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Are Experienced With Divorce Cases Involving Infidelity

At Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C., our knowledgeable Delaware County divorce lawyers have years of experience assisting clients with all aspects of divorce proceedings, including infidelity. Call 610-565-3701 or contact us online for a confidential consultation. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients in Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.